On the Necessity of Faith


“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for,
the evidence of things not seen.”

Hebrews 11:1

There comes a time in one’s practice of yoga (and in the practice of any other discipline, I suppose, provided that the commitment lasts long enough) when the student hits a plateau. Then, despite much diligence and perseverance, the student finds no progress in their practice—experiences galling setbacks even—and it’s during such times when continuous effort yields no visible reward that fidelity evolves to faith.

Then, and only then, do we learn to do things on “the evidence of things not seen.”

Running a studio devoted to yoga and other disciplines is turning out to be remarkably similar. There are days filled with mind-numbing hard work that often seem to yield no tangible result. It requires remarkable existential stamina to persevere in the face of severe self-doubt and to trust that things are slowly and inexorably falling into place in hundreds of invisible little ways.

The trick, as always, is to have faith. Because unlike what most people think, faith isn’t the result of believing in the truth. Rather, faith is what turns a belief into truth.

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